DigitalFruit is an interview series from Adafruit showcasing some of our favorite digital fine artists from around the world. As we begin this new decade with its rapidly changing landscape, we must envision our path through a different lens. Over the next few weeks we’ll feature many innovative perspectives and techniques that will inspire our maker community to construct a bold creative frontier. The only way is forward.
1. Where are you based?
I was born and live in Istanbul, Turkey.
2. Tell us about your background?
Throughout my life, I have engaged in creativity. As a child, I made interesting designs with mixed materials and painted non-stop. Thanks to the support of my family, I started studying art in high school and received training in painting, graphic design, sculpture and printmaking.
I graduated from high school in 2004 and then finished my undergraduate education at Cukurova University Department of Fine Arts in 2008. Shortly after, I decided to become competent in Graphic Design and completed a Master’s degree at Mersin University Fine Arts Institute. For my Master’s thesis, I conducted a scientific experiment on Neuromarketing. The title of my thesis was “The Effect of Smell on the Visual Expression of Advertising Message” -it was one of the first marketing studies done on the sense of smell. My clinical study was conducted at Ege University Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and it focused on the psychological and neurological effects of olfactory perception. In order to examine this phenomena, my subjects were monitored with a fMRI and asked to look at photographs containing bad odors (such as feet, sweat, carrion animals, human excrement). I discovered that, even if there is no odor around us, only images containing scent can activate the scent region of our brains.
During my master’s studies, I had read a lot on olfactory memory and Marcel Proust. These issues prompted me to read works by the 20th Century French philosopher Henri Bergson. The central focus of my PhD dissertation is “Gilles Deleuze’s Bergsonism”, where I aim to position themes of memory and duration within the context of New Media. I am continuing my PhD and artistic studies in the field of Art and Design at Yıldız Technical University. Episodic memory, memory transfer, engrams, eidetic memory, paramnesia, low latent inhibition are all subjects that I study theoretically and practically.
3. What inspires your work?
I am a true nature lover. All of the textures, ostinato sounds and pulsatile movements in nature that I see and feel give me an auto-ethnographic visual experience.
Exaggerated impossible spaces, haptic images, paralogical illusions and articulating music all inform my narrative language in digital media.
4. What are you currently working on?
Staying at home during the pandemic has given me concentrated time to think about myself and the work I have done so far and what I want to do in the future, but I cannot say that it has had a direct impact on my art. With all this, I am currently focused my thesis. I do a lot of sketch work. You can follow these sketches on my instagram account- I use it as a process pool.
5. Describe your process and what tools you like to use
The process of designing and formulating my ideas changes day by day. As my perspective changes, the problems I have acquired change as well.
What I define as problems are my research questions. These are inspired by Bergson’s Dualisms, Deleuze’s Time-Image Concept and Spinoza’s Affectus. In addition, dichotomies such as Matter-Memory, Space-Time, Mind-Body, Spirit-Body, Homogeneous-Heterogeneous, Quantity-Quality are consistently the basis of my inquiries.
Although the solutions I offer are important, I like to work on a more process-based approach, where I constantly review all kinds of documents that I have acquired while creating art. This process is most important to me. My sketches complete my unfinished art. The manual and digital sketches (and a lot of scribbled notes) that I create, are more valuable to me than my artworks. I keep everything that I produce, and reuse a lot of material when searching for a solution to another problem. All of my ideas, artwork and problems seem to accumulate and none of my production ever seems to be finished. I enjoy the viewer’s awareness of this shortcoming.
6. What does your workplace or studio look like? Do you work in silence or listen to music while you work?
My workplace can be anywhere. Sometimes I can do my drawings and research freely in my study room at home, sometimes anywhere outside the home. My habit of listening to music continues throughout the day. If I have only one question in mind, I usually turn up the music. As the questions increase in my mind, I need to mute the music and prefer to listen only to myself.
7. How has technology shaped your creative vision?
Immensely. Technology shows me that my ideas are not impossible. I can animate my art in different channels as I want.
8. Any tips for someone interested in getting started in the digital art form?
Try nonsense in the face of technology without fear. Make mistakes, spoil your art and the machine in your hand. I would say that you don’t need a logical explanation for every line that you draw- only the idea that will satisfy you.
9. Where do you see generative and digital art heading in the future?
It’s obvious that art will move beyond multi-dimensional disciplines. When we see that art simultaneously activates our five senses and takes us to a qualitative time, then we may have spoken of the future of art. The ability to move across time and space will show us the intuitive power of art.
H. Merve Güç
DigitalFruit is curated by Adafruit lead photographer- Andrew Tingle